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New beginnings

By Linda Brehaut, International President
September – my favorite time of year!  It often feels like a time of new beginnings, a fresh start, perhaps.

Two weeks ago, the International Board met for our Q3 (third quarter) meeting. Before I say any more, I want to take a minute to thank the 1,073 members who completed our first annual membership survey and those that provided feedback on our revised Mission, Vision, and Values draft. That is remarkable and incredibly valuable when your IBOD is wondering what the membership is thinking. You responded, we read, we listened, we considered, and sometimes we acted on your suggestions. We have been working diligently to complete Harmony. Stronger 2023 and are looking forward to sharing it with the entire membership soon. Thanks to your participation, this has been a membership driven initiative.

As a result of membership feedback, a few areas were flagged as priority to discuss with our membership. On September 5, 9, and possibly 11, I will be holding town halls (Zoom) to discuss what inclusion means within Harmony, Inc. This topic received a lot of comments, and I would like to talk to you about this. Sessions will be at 6:30 p.m. EST. Hopefully, on one of those nights someone from your chorus or quartet, or even better you, yourself, will be able to attend. Following this, you may hear of more town halls as we unveil our Mission, Vision, and Values statements. I want to hear from you, but I would like that conversation to be a two-way one – hopefully, this will give us a chance to talk together.
By now, you have received the COVID-19 protocol summary that will be in place for IC&C. Please tell me we will not be having this discussion for our 2023 AC&C sessions! Thank you to the task force for having the tough conversations once again and doing what feels best for the organization and its members. There is no easy answer here, but I am confident that we will do what is right for ourselves and each other. We cannot eliminate the risk, but we are doing our best to minimize the risk of serious illness.
My mind keeps looking forward to IC&C, so I need to find a way to slow down so I can enjoy these fall months. Oh wait, my chorus has managed to do that for me! I expect many of you will see your schedules these next two months filled in with coaching sessions, extra rehearsals, and performances as we prepare ourselves to be the best we can be for November. Enjoy this time together and have fun!

See you all soon!

Announcing 2022-2023 International Board positions

By Debbie Parmerter, International Parliamentarian

Following the 3rd Quarter meeting of the International Board of Directors, board positions for the 2022-2023 year were decided. These members will assume their positions following the close of the 2022 annual Board of Directors Meeting.

President - Linda Brehaut
Executive VP - Gaye LaCasce
VP Convention & Contests - Kelly Thomas
VP Finance - Jan DelVecchio
Dir. of Marketing & Communications - Laura Oakes
*Dir. of Membership - Pending appointment
Dir. of Philanthropy – Kim Meechan
Dir. of Programs (Music & Education) - Sara Stone
Area 1 Director – Kelly Mullaly
Area 2 Director - Julie Schwingbeck
Area 3 Director - Sarah Thorne-Miller
Area 4 Director - Susan Spencer
Area 5 Director – Sandy McCreary
Area 6 Director - Angie Beatty
* Per corporate policy, Board vacancies due to resignations are filled by the International President and ratified by the IBOD.

Congratulations to all, and thank you for stepping up to lead us in the coming year!



Message to IC&C contestants about judge feedback

Together again! The draw for order of appearance is behind us, and we are inching toward a joyous celebration of song at our IC&C in November. We have a wonderful lineup of quartets and choruses planning to be there – almost 80 groups in all. What a celebration it will be! That’s the good news.
Here’s the flip side of that coin. There will be no opportunity for contestants to receive evaluations or other feedback from our scoring judges this year. This was the inescapable conclusion that the ICJ Committee reached when it met to discuss the possibilities.
Our judges are going to be working long hours to determine who will be our 2022 award winners, and who will be our Harmony, Inc. chorus and quartet champions. Long hours.  There is no time or space on site for them to meet with contestants.
And to ask the judges to provide feedback from home after the end of the contest weekend would create an unrealistic burden on our judges this year. Like the rest of us, they will leave Verona and pick up the threads of their “real” lives on Monday morning. Can you imagine the time commitment required of the nine scoring judges if we then asked them to respond from home to inquiries from up to 80 groups about performances at IC&C 2022? Even if we assigned a third of the contestants to each judge, as we tried a few years ago, each judge would have 26 or 27 groups on his or her list.   That’s simply not fair to our HI and BHS volunteers.
So this is a reminder to contestants that our spring contests were your chance to perform and then discuss your achievements and your opportunities for improvement with the judges. Our contests in November will be an opportunity for you to go for the gold, of course, but also to share your gift of music with your Harmony, Inc. friends and family. We can hardly wait to hear you.



Volunteers Still Needed!
By Anne Leinen, Convention Volunteer Manager

Hello Harmony! We’re getting closer to IC&C. . . .and there are still many volunteer jobs which need to be filled. For example:
  • Quartet semis and finals – We need people to work the warmup rooms. Greet contestants and give them a 2-minute warning before they move on to the stage. This is an important job which ensures each contestant has the correct amount of backstage time before their performance.
  • Chorus Contest: There are many openings for the chorus contest – ticket sellers, door monitors, and photo room monitors, just to name a few. These are tough positions to fill, since many people are in the contest, plus these volunteers will not be able to see the contests. However, volunteers do get to see and hear all contestants’ warm-ups and wish them well as they go on stage.
  • Pattern Guides: We are in an exciting contest venue this year, but it is large and requires volunteers strategically located to direct contestants through the pattern.
There are many other jobs which still need to be filled – please click on the link below and see how you can help Harmony have a successful convention.

You can also access the signup by clicking the “Sign Me Up! I Want to Volunteer!” button on the IC&C page on our website. If you prefer to sign up through me, feel free to contact me .


Unfortunately, there is not enough interest/need for us to be able to book economical group transportation. We encourage everyone to drive if feasible, but if not, to use public transportation, rent a car, or book a car service. If you do so with a group of friends, your costs will be cheaper. Be sure to book early as demand will be high. Here are some resources that can help you:
Getting to Turning Stone
Ground transportation from Syracuse Airport
Rental cars at Syracuse Airport
Bus service from Syracuse Airport
You can also google car services / limo services near the Syracuse Airport. Here is an example of a car service you can book in advance.


There is someone who has booked a double room Thursday – Sunday and is looking to share the expense. If you would like to share a room please reach out to
Don’t forget to visit our IC&C webpage for all information pertaining to this year’s event, including the agenda, hotel information, volunteer sign-ups, and FAQs.



The Harmony Shoppe is offering special items and special sale terms for IC&C. All items on the site, including three special IC&C items, are being offered at the price shown (plus appropriate sales tax) with no additional shipping charges. ALL ITEMS ON THE SITE!  Masks, totes, water bottles and magnets! Everything.
In addition to items with the Harmony, Inc. logo, there are three special items featuring the IC&C logo: a woman’s T-shirt and a man’s T-shirt – both in white with the IC&C logo on the front - and a black and grey Fanny Pack, also with the IC&C Logo. 
All items, whether from the regular line or the IC&C line, will be delivered to Turning Stone Resort in Verona, New York, in time for you to pick them up on site. Items must be ordered on the Harmony Shoppe website (remember that you can choose a Canadian or US webpage so that you get CAD or USD prices) and orders must be placed by September 20.  During this special ordering period, no sales will be accepted for home delivery – IC&C delivery only.

Minor Chords return at Turning Stone

By Kristin Gunasekera, Youth Programs Coordinator

The Minor Chords will be singing Sunny Side Medley, arranged by Nancy Bergman.

Contact me or call 407-719-4363 By September 15 to sign up and get your learning materials.

Nickel City Sound celebrates silver jubilee

By Penny Earley, Chapter Corresponding Secretary

This year marks the 25th anniversary of Nickel City Sound. We held a wonderful party in June to commemorate this milestone. From good singing, to good company, to good times, the chorus celebrated with friends and past members.  

One of the highlights was a display of miniature dolls dressed in chorus costumes from over the years.   
A big thank-you goes out to the members of the organizing committee for their thoughtful attention to detail for this memorable event: Ellen Chapados, Irene Shura Butler, Claire McMartin, and Marisa Costanzo. 
 Sandy Dazé (Baritone), Penny Earley ( Bass), Jennifer Huss (Lead, holding her fiancé), and Elizabeth Earley (Tenor) entertain at Area 5 AC&C.

Kindred Spirits celebrates 10th anniversary

By Penny Earley, Quartet Contact

Kindred Spirits was extremely pleased to receive from Area 5 their 10-year anniversary award at the 25th Anniversary celebration of Nickel City Sound on June 19. The award was presented by Lise Anne Boissonneault, the Area 5 Quartet Promotion Chair. Lise Anne also happened to be their tenor understudy and performed with them at this year's AC&C. They are all thankful for her help and hard work filling in.

Interesting factoid: Kindred Spirits' members are all related. They consist of three sisters, Sandy, Elizabeth, and Penny, and their niece Jennifer (whose mother Kathleen was their oldest sister.) They love singing together weekly, and through most of the pandemic, bubbled and then Zoomed to keep their love of music and camaraderie (and wine and snacks) afloat.

Sadly, Kathleen passed away in 2007. In her honor, Kindred Spirits sponsors the Area 5 Kathleen Racicot Award of Encouragement. Kathleen was an HI member who sang with the Toronto Accolades, Nickel City Sound, and several unofficial quartets. Kathleen was always encouraging everyone to keep on singing, no matter what. She believed that singing is so much more than a score at a contest – it’s about friendship, performance, and working together to create a beautiful sound. The Award of Encouragement is presented to the highest scoring, non-qualifying quartet to encourage quartets to “keep on singing, singing, singing”.

Kindred Spirits is proud to say that they have competed at every Area 5 AC&C since the quartet’s inception in 2012. Comedy performances and parodies have become their niche. (They can't leave a good lyric alone - must make jokes!) They also perform in their community - Sudbury, Ontario - delivering live and virtual singing telegrams, and participating in non-profit events. 

Happy 10th anniversary, Kindred Spirits!

Announcing 2022 IC&C Delegates/Associates meeting

By Debbie Parmerter, International Parliamentarian

The 2022 Delegates/Associates Meeting will be held via Zoom on Sunday, November 13 at 2:00 p.m. EST.
The agenda for the International Board of Directors Annual Meeting will be posted on the Harmony website by mid-October. Chapter Delegates and Associate Members should visit the website and review the contents of the agenda and make note of any items that you would like discussed at the meeting.
If the Chapter President is unable to attend the Delegates/Associates meeting, another chapter member may serve as an Alternate Delegate. The Chapter President should register the Alternate by completing Form HAR-029 found on the Members-only section of the Harmony, Inc. website.
Associates, did you know that you can attend the Delegates/Associates Meeting at IC&C?  Well, you can.  And you are encouraged to do so. 
The Annual Delegates/Associates Meeting brings members of the International Board of Directors and you, as representatives of the general membership, together for a discussion of the business matters conducted and decisions made by the International Board of Directors at its Annual Meeting. Delegates will also have an opportunity to share concerns and opinions on decisions made by the Board.
Each Delegate (or Alternate) will have one vote on any matter of business to come before the meeting. The voting privilege of Associate Members will be exercised through the vote of the Delegate elected by Associate Members at the meeting. There will be no proxy vote.
During this meeting, Delegates will elect an Elections Committee for the 2023 International Board of Directors elections. The newly elected committee will appoint a Chair from its members, to be ratified by the Delegates. Besides having duties for IBOD elections, this committee will also be used for any membership votes conducted during the year.
The Elections Committee has two tellers (one from Canada and one from the US.) The tellers are responsible for receipt of all mailed or emailed ballots and submitting a summary of ballots received to the Chair. Several zoom meetings are held with the Elections Committee and the International Parliamentarian.
The Chair of this committee will work closely with the International Parliamentarian to ensure a proper election process. They must be able to commit to the time involved with all the steps that must be taken. They are responsible for updating all emails to the membership, HI Note articles, emails to all nominated candidates, etc. This position has set deadlines that must be met.
Even though this meeting will be via Zoom, I look forward to seeing you at IC&C in Verona. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at any time.  And be sure to look me up in New York!
Registration is required to attend this meeting. Complete Form HAR-029  by November 12, 2022 to receive the link to the meeting.

Sing Canada Harmony sponsors scholarships to Harmony U

By Gaye LaCasce, EVP

Sing Canada Harmony (SCH) is generous in its assistance of Canadian Harmony, Inc. members, particularly when it comes to attendance at events like Harmony University, an intensive annual week-long BHS-sponsored educational opportunity for quartets, choruses, directors, and virtually anyone who wants to be steeped in barbershop!

Sarah Patterson, a youth member from Area 5 and a member of both A Cappella Showcase and Generations Quartet, recently attended HU with her mom, Amy Patterson, who served as an HU Faculty member. Sarah has given us permission to share the note of thanks she wrote to SCH. (Thanks, Sarah!) It captures the essence of an HU experience and exemplifies the importance of generous financial support to Sing Canada Harmony. Harmony, Inc., has also provided HU scholarships for directors as well as great musical experiences for our youth members.

Sarah Patterson’s Harmony University experience

To say that my experience at HU2022 was life-changing would be an understatement. Never before had I been able to walk into an unfamiliar place with people I had never met and feel safe. Everyone, especially those on faculty, were so kind and open. There was a real sense of community between us strangers because we all shared a passion for barbershop and singing.
Then, the best part of all of Harmony U for me, NextGen. Who would have thought that within this already amazing barbershop bubble, a handful of youth would create priceless friendships? In our many rehearsals, we laughed, cried, and sang so many tags. It is difficult to convey in writing how kind, supportive, available, present, prepared, and passionate all these singers were: from complete strangers to close friends in only five days.
I am forever grateful to Sing Canada Harmony for helping me to attend this year. I cannot imagine missing such an amazing year at HU, the first and definitely not the last.
This year of HU was especially significant (the first in-person HU since 2019) and I feel honored to have sung with NextGen and all of the section leaders and leadership. We truly were each other’s bridge.
Watch the HU NextGen Chorus sing I’m Still Standing (Elton John cover).
Donate to Sing Canada Harmony
Donate to Harmony, Inc. Youth Initiatives 

Founder Marilyn Kelsey passes

By Susan Brooks

Harmony Inc history is fascinating. Let me share some with you.  In February 1959, the Melody Belles from Rhode Island; Sea Gals, Harmonettes, and Harbourettes from Massachusettes; and one Canadian chorus, the Harmony Belles from Orillia, Ontario, formed Harmony, Inc. News must have spread fast as in the early 1960s, women from Woodville and the surrounding area started making the ¾ hour drive to sing with the Orillia chorus. 

Marilyn Kelsey was one of those gals, laughing and singing all the way. She must have loved everything about this new organization, as she served as Harmony, Inc.’s International President from 1966 - 1968. In 1966, the Woodville ladies realized that they had enough women travelling to Orillia to start their own chorus. Marilyn was one of the founding members of the Woodville Country Chords. The very talented Roy Keys became their director. 

Marilyn passed away on July 29, 2022. Part of her obituary read: “She loved people, as evidenced in her involvement in church, sports, music, and the community.   She lived well and laughed often.”

Harmony has been fortunate to have people such as Marilyn Kelsey share their talents. Rest in peace, Marilyn!
  • to Bill Reed (husband and barbershopper) and the New England Voices in Harmony community (Area 2) on the passing of former member, Mary-Ellen Reed.
  • to Pam Callow (former member of ScotianAires, Area 1) on the death of her brother Steve Callow, who passed away on 08 July 2022.
  • Trudy Copp (ScotianAires, Area 1) on the death of her mother Myrtle Lorraine Mairs, who passed away on 14 July 2022.
  • To Sound Celebration Chorus on the passing of former member Eileen Meyer.

Need to post a condolence notice? Please have the information sent to the Corporate Office to be recorded. Thank you.

Your donations to the For Love of Harmony program enable you to identify individuals or groups to receive special recognition, while at the same time providing a monetary gift to Harmony, Inc. 
From Sound Celebration Chorus in recognition of Kerry Wilson and the many years of service given as she relocates to Arizona.

Deadlines approaching!

  • Deadline to register for Minor Chords
  • EARLY AEP Purchase (AEP FAQ)
  • Dinner Registration 
  • Big Screen Ads 
  • Harmony Mall Table Sales 

SEPTEMBER 30: Canadian Chapters file T2 with Revenue Canada.

OCTOBER 1: IC&C Hotel Room Reservations

NOVEMBER 2-6: IC&C, Verona, N.Y.

NOVEMBER 12: Complete Form HAR-029   to receive the link to the Delegates/Associates meeting.

NOVEMBER 13: Delegates/Associates Meeting
The next issue of the HI Note comes to your inbox September 20. What would YOU like to read about in that issue? Share your thoughts with by September 13. 

See you in a couple weeks! 

Quick links! 



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